Best miter saw reviews 2018
Bosch CM10GD Dual Bevel Axial-Glide Miter SawInnovative Axial-Glide system
Commercial-grade miter saw delivers precise, accurate cuts on most types of wood.
Bosch CM10GD Review
Built for precision and ideal for heavy-duty commercial use, the Bosch CM10GD is perhaps the best professional miter saw on the market.
It comes with an exclusive Axial-Glide system that guarantees the smoothness of the cuts, while an easy-to-read bevel and scales ensure quick adjustments of the angle.
Powerful enough to handle most types of wood, the machine delivers 4,800 RPM at no load and impresses with a 12-inch horizontal capacity.
Its ambidextrous trigger design makes it perfect for all woodworkers while the compact dimensions make it fit even in a restricted space.
Ergonomic and comfortable to maneuver, powerful, and constructed for cutting precision, the Bosch CM10GD is ideal for those in search of unparalleled performance.
DEWALT DW715 15-Amp Single-Bevel Compound Miter SawBest for most users
Top-notch miter saw comes with an all-purpose carbide blade for workshop versatility.
DEWALT DW715 Review
Delivering up to 4,000 RPM but much more convenient than our best-in-class pick, the DEWALT DW715 is designed for the woodworker who wants the best value for money.
Powerful and versatile, this tool can handle a crosscut capacity up to 2×8 inches and supports crown molding up to 5.25 inches.
A convenient miter detent plate adjustable to eleven positive positions and four hardened bevel stops make the machine suitable for a wide range of operations, while user comfort is ensured by the two side handles attached to the base.
Ready to use straight out from the box, the miter saw also comes with a convenient dust bag and blade wrench for a quick replacement of the blade
Strong, durable, and capable of handling commercial demands, the DEWALT DW715 brings all you could wish for at an attractive price.
Tacklife PMS03A Sliding Miter SawConvenient laser guide
A slightly lower drive but also a more convenient price point make this miter saw ideal for the enthusiast DIYer.
Tacklife PMS03A Review
The Tacklife PMS03A is similar to our best-value pick up to an extent. It’s powered by a 15-Amp motor and boasts a 12-inch expanded cutting capacity.
However, the motor can only drive the blade up to 3,800 RPM, slightly lower than our top choice. Nevertheless, the machine can still handle most types of wood, plastic, and even soft metals and is ideal for hobby or light to medium-duty professional use.
An adjustable bevel with nine positive stops and a laser guide guarantee cutting precision and professional results; furthermore, a vice clamping provides support to the workpiece and improves balance, while a locking device boosts up safety.
Withstanding most workshop demands, the Tacklife PMS03A is a great alternative if you don’t mind a slower rate but look for a better price.
Hitachi C10FCH2 Single Bevel Compound Miter SawPerfect for beginners
An affordable miter saw equipped with a laser marker system and compact enough to fit on a small workbench.
Hitachi C10FCH2 Review
The Hitachi C10FCH2 is a great budget miter saw designed with the hobbyist in mind and available at a price that won’t break the bank.
Although powered by a 15-Amp motor, the tool doesn’t withstand heavy-duty commercial demands but fits perfectly in a home workshop and is ideal for beginners.
Accurate cuts and precision are guaranteed by the convenient laser marker system, while a miter angle range up to 52° ensures flexibility.
Ergonomic and comfortable to control, powerful enough to handle light and mid-duty tasks, the Hitachi C10FCH2 could be the best miter saw for the budget-savvy woodworkers.
2. Why invest in a miter saw?
Miter saws are typically used for achieving perfect 90° crosscuts or angle cuts into lumber, but can also be employed in other types of projects, such as cutting window trims or in arts & crafts projects.
Depending on the type of miter saw, its size, and capabilities, you can typically use this tool for:
- Regular crosscuts
- Angled cuts
- Compound angle cuts
- Bevel cuts
- Trim work
- Crown molding work
- Repeatable cuts
3. Types of miter saws
There are three types of miter saws, simple, compound, and sliding.
- Simple miter saws: Are perfect for simple projects like making crosscuts and miter cuts or trim work. They have a limited cutting capacity and no bevel option, but these machines typically provide highly accurate results. Simple miter saws are the most affordable, lightweight, and perfect for those who usually cut boards of 2×6 inches or smaller.
- Compound miter saws: Incorporate all the characteristics of a simple model but can also make bevel cuts. You can choose from single or dual bevel models that can tilt cut in one or both directions. These machines are perfect for either simple or more complex work like cutting crown molding.
- Sliding miter saws: Are the most versatile but also the most expensive. These machines come with all the features of a compound model plus a sliding arm which allows cutting wider and thicker workpieces. These saws can typically accommodate pieces as wide as 12 inches, but the extra parts involved in their construction make them heavier and harder to transport.
Most miter saws come with predrilled holes that allow users to mount them on the workbench, and the vast majority are also compatible with miter saw stands.
4. Bench mounted vs. miter saw stand
Whether it’s your workshop bench or a miter saw stand, your miter saw will need support.
Mounting the saw to the workbench is ideal if you have little space in your workshop or don’t want to spend extra for a dedicated stand. But the truth is a miter saw stand can really make a difference regarding cutting accuracy.
In broad lines, a miter saw stand:
- Provides you with a stable surface to make accurate cuts.
- Allows you to do measurements and create marking for perfect alignments.
- Supports longer workpieces, facilitating feeding.
- Reduces the risk of injuries.
- Some miter saw stands come with wheels and are foldable, making them easy to transport from place to place.
We have already treated this subject and featured some of the best miter saw stands on the market in a previous guide.
5. Miter saw power
Most miter saws come with either a 10-Amp or 15-Amp motor, although a small range features a 12-Amp motor. The amperes determine the power of the tool and the higher the number, the more powerful your miter saw should be.
Typically, the 10-Amp motors are employed by the smaller 8-inch saws, whereas the 15-Amp motors equip the larger miter saws using blades of 10 or 12 inches.
6. Cutting speed
Most miter saws on the market deliver cutting speeds between 3,500 and 5,000 revolutions per minute (RPM), and some commercial miter saws even exceed this range. This cutting speeds are ideal to cut through a variety of materials including soft and hardwood, plywood, plastics, and metal.
How many RPM do you need?
Different materials require different cutting speeds, but the cutting speed also determines the finish of the cut. Fine cuts and harder materials require lower speeds, whereas softer materials and coarse cuts require faster speeds.
Below, the ideal cutting speeds for the most common workshop applications:
- 3,800-5,000 RPM: Cutting softwood and hardwood
- 3,800-4,500 RPM: Cutting plastics
- 3,500 RPM: Cutting aluminum and other soft metals
7. Best miter saw blades
The size of the blade determines the depth of the cut, and most miter saws come with 8, 10, or 12-inch blades. Besides the size, you must also consider the number of teeth and the material of the blade to make sure it is suitable for your project.
Miter saws use three popular types of blades:
- Steel blades: Are the most affordable but also the weakest; these blades tend to lose their sharpness quickly when used on harder materials but are ideal for softwood.
- High-speed steel blades: Stronger than the steel ones are made to work at high speeds and to stay sharp for longer. These blades can typically handle softwood, plastics, and soft metals.
- Carbide blades: Are the most expensive but also the most reliable. These blades can usually cut through all materials and are engineered to provide smoother cuts with little tear out. This type is ideal for works that require maximum accuracy and precision.
Most high-speed steel and carbide blades can cut through soft metals but miter saw blades specifically for cutting through metal are also available. They are similar to the traditional miter saw blades used for performing fine cuts and manufacturers typically write on the blade’s label what materials it can handle.
Coarse vs. fine cut blades
All types of blades can be manufactured for coarse or fine cuts, and the manufacturers specify on the blade what type of cut it is made for.
- Coarse cut blades: Can rip cut and crosscut untreated softwood and hardwood, and plywood.
- Fine cut blades: Are manufactured for precision crosscuts in all types of wood and general cuts in harder materials like wood core plywood, laminated chipboards, and parquet.
Assessing miter saw blade teeth?
The number of teeth on the blade determines how accurate the cut will be. On a 10-inch blade you will need:
- 24 teeth: To rip cut the materials at higher speeds.
- 70 or more teeth: For smooth, fine cuts at lower speeds.
8. Cutting precision
Two important features that help you achieve accurate cuts are the angle stops and the laser guide.
- Angle stops: Are also called detents and are set at regular intervals to help you add or subtract an angle from the cut. The angle stop locks the saw in position helping you perform repeatable cuts with maximum precision. Most compound and sliding miter saws have both bevel and miter stops.
- Laser guide: Shows you the exact path of the blade, helping you line it up on the workpiece for higher While experienced woodworkers might not always need this feature, it is definitely a nice thing to have for the novice.
9. Other important features
The best miter saw must also come with other important features including:
- A reliable electric brake and fence guards for safer operation. The electric brake can stop the blade from spinning almost instantly.
- An effective dust collection system to help keep your work area clean. This system also increases the tool’s lifespan.
- Ergonomic grip for a more comfortable operation. An ambidextrous trigger is another nice thing to have if you want to operate the tool with either hand.
- Look for a tool with table extension if you also want to cut longer workpieces.
- Some of the best miter saws have a digital display that provides miter and bevel information for quicker adjustments.
- Miter saw stand: Some miter saws come with integrated stands, or you could buy a compatible stand if you need mobility or have a little space on the workbench. For a review of the best miter saw stands see our other buying guide.